The BTR Bike Phone Holder Bike Bag & Bicycle Handlebar Mobile Phone Mount (and breathe) delivers on what its name suggests and the description that BTR gives it on its website. It's not the most elegant solution to front-end/handlebar storage, but for less than a tenner – and just £5.99 for the medium size (all of 0.5cm difference in length and width to the large) – you could do a lot worse.
The thing I like least about the BTR bar bag is its looks. I know, looks are subjective, but... even its mother would have trouble. But get over that, and if you need some extra storage up front on your bike, it does the job.
It's very well made – the stitching is neat, and none of the seams 'miss' edges that they're meant to be securing, there's a decent overlap everywhere.
It's lined with BTR-branded fabric, and in the main section you get a key clip and two elasticated straps with easy-to-undo clips, for holding things securely in place.
The base and sides are slightly padded. It's a robust little bag. The piping on the outside is reflective, too, which helps counter one of my criticisms, which I'll get on to in a minute.
The top section that closes with a zip has the phone holder – two padded sections that overlap and Velcro together, very securely, with a wide strip of elastic at the top to accommodate different phone sizes and that'll also stop your phone sliding out if you were to flip the lid right over when opening. The fact that it's not separated from the space below means you can carry a battery pack in the bottom section and top up your phone easily, with no leads having to brave the elements outside.
The touchscreen-friendly PVC cover means you can operate your phone without having to remove it or your touchscreen-friendly gloves – though I was hoping it'd work with non-touchscreen-friendly gloves too. It's a bit hit and miss on that (and doesn't claim to, that was just me hoping).
It's not claimed to be waterproof either – it's 'water resistant' and it does a good job in a short shower, but you might want to wrap your belongings in a waterproof bag if it looks like rain, especially as the zip isn't waterproof either.
The 'sun shade' hasn't been put to much use, I'm afraid. It's shielded the phone cover from driving wind and rain, but should help a bit if the sun ever comes out again.
Despite the build quality and it doing many things without quibble, it does have its faults. A bar bag doesn't need to be elegant, and this one isn't, but its bulk also means that it can obscure your front light, from the side at least, though to what extent (if at all) will depend on your light and how it mounts. The reflective piping on the side helps a little here.
How the bag mounts is another slight annoyance. It's secure once it's on, but you have to fight three Velcro straps that all want to attach to each other while you're doing it. Keeping them done up while you attach each one separately would probably help.
Possibly the most annoying thing about the bag is that there's nowhere to stow the zip ends. My Topeak seat pack has little 'housings' you push the ends into, to keep them silent, but the BTR bag doesn't have any and they rattle like anything, against each other and against the bag.
These are pretty minor quibbles, though, when you consider the price. Really, for a penny less than a tenner – and just £5.99 for the medium (which would probably be a better bet for my ancient old iPhone 5) – you really can't complain.
With our super-duper new way of being able to narrow down what you're looking at by price and year, I can see that in the last three years of road.cc bag reviews there's very little that comes close to it on price – and most of those that do are also from BTR! The company really does offer very good value for money, and if you like what this bag does and aren't bothered about the looks, it's a bargain.
And, I almost forgot! You also get six puncture patches included. Which is nice.
Not the most elegant storage solution, but does the job at a very attractive price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BTR Bike Phone Holder Bike Bag & Bicycle Handlebar Mobile Phone Mount
Size tested: Large (17cm x 8.5cm)
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
BTR says, "Our original handlebar bag has had a make over & created this version comes which comes with a built in sun visor. Very useful for helping to reduce glare on your navigation system
"Now with a built in sun visor our handlebar phone holder has a large PVC screen area too so you can see all of your phone / GPS device & the sun visor helps reduce some glare!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Other Features include:
PVC phone pocket with Touch Screen Functionality - use your phone for navigation or to map your ride without removing it from the phone / GPS pocket
Easy to Connect your phone to your external battery pack with the easy open base on the touch screen pocket. So, you can map your ride, check your GPS or monitor your performance without worrying about battery power again!
3 Hook & Loop Fastening Straps - allows easy secure attachment & adjustment to your handlebars
Built in Sun Visor - helps reduce the reflections so you can see your screen easily at a glance for last minute changes of direction
Storage Area - puts an end to carrying essentials on your person & weighing you down
Water Resistant - who wants soggy items?
With 6 BTR Puncture Repair Patches - just incase...
This BTR Bike Phone Holder is available in two sizes Medium & Large.
Medium (16.5cm x 8cm) Fits: iPhoneX, iPhone 6s, iPhone7, iPhone8, Samsung S6, Samsung S7, Samsung S8, Samsung S9, Samsung S7 Edge
Large (17cm x 8.5cm) Fits:iPhoneX, iPhone 6s, iPhone7, iPhone8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, Samsung S6, Samsung S7, Samsung S8, Samsung S9, Samsung S7 Edge, Samsung S6 Plus Samsung S7 Plus Samsung S8 Plus, Samsung S9 Plus
Please measure your phone prior to purchase & also remember that phone covers can make your phone a larger size!
I'm not that sold on the bulky design, but the build quality is high.
Provides a secure place for extra stuff, and your phone, but bulky and not waterproof.
Early days, but the stitching is all sound and nothing suggests it's not going to last.
Lighter than it looks.
You can spend a lot more than a tenner on front-end storage – although extra might bring you a sleeker design.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It does the job.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Little bit of extra storage without going full bar bag.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It's pretty chunky, and can obscure your front light from the side – at junctions, roundabouts and the like. There's no storage for the zip ends and they rattle against each other. It's not waterproof and doesn't have a cover.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's very cheap.
Did you enjoy using the product? Ish
Would you consider buying the product? Maybe
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
BTR products tend to be very well priced, and some are really good – I have a BTR top tube bag which is great for food on the go. I'm not as convinced by this one, mainly because of its bulky design, but if you really need the extra storage then it works – in the dry – and it's a great price.
About the tester
I usually ride: Vitus Venon My best bike is: Paulus Quiros
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Tass is our production pedant, who boldly goes hunting for split infinitives, rogue apostrophes and other things up with which she will not put. She joined road.cc in 2015 but first began working on bike magazines way back in 1991 as production editor on Mountain Biking UK, then deputy editor of MTB Pro, before changing allegiance to road cycling as senior production editor on Cycling Plus. She's ridden off-road but much prefers on, hasn't done half the touring she'd like to, and loves paper maps.